"Then tell my father! His best interests are in whom I marry!" she debated passionately.
Drenched in cold well water, I arose out of a deep sleep. Aware that this meant I had slept past my shift, I hurriedly jumped into salute and rambled off my apologies. My mast curtly grasped my ear and yanked me down the steps and into a dirty stall in the stable.
"You know the rules perfectly well, boy, and that is that stable workers are not allowed to leave my property without permission, especially after curfew! I knew it was unacceptable to take in an orphan, let alone a Jew. Don't you dare interrupt me! From now on you will be working a double shift and be required an escort. Understand?" Wiping the spit off my face I feebly nodded. On that note, he pivoted around and briskly walked out of the stable. I took a deep breath and ignored the sinking feeling in my stomach. No more Eliza. I promised myself we could still make it happen. But for now I had a shift to work.
An immense pain shot through my spine as I attempted to lift yet another pail of manure. From working double shifts for a week, my body was aching. I looked over at my supervisor. His sleek, business man like appearance was incomparable to my grimy, manure covered clothes. It was obvious which one a woman would choose if she had the opportunity. Refocusing my mind, I tried to lift the bucket again.
The brakes of a car distracted me from my work later that morning. Curiously, I watched an expensive car park and the doors open. Out of it stepped a man dressed in an exorbitant suit. Turning around, he reached inside the car and grasped an extended hand. He effortlessly assisted a beautiful woman out of the vehicle, and immediately grabbed her waist. With a jolt of recognition, I realized that the figure was familiar. Without thinking, I ran to the nearest bush in a crouch, trying to examine the girl more closely. As if on cue, she glanced over to the shrub I had chosen to hide behind and we lock into eye contact. Eliza's look was one of anguish, and as I looked more closely, I could tell the man at her side was not her doings. I became conscious that she was mouthing words at me. Now. Soon. Please.She glanced over at the man at her side, since he had noticed her wandering eyes and was trying to lead her into a building. Without looking back at me she obediently followed, like a slave would his master.
I sat there planning what to do when she returned from inside the building. I was determined to sit there for hours upon hours just to come into contact with her again. The sidewalk was thick with traffic as I tried to keep a steady eye on the door. Startled, I realized that Eliza had already exited the building and was heading back towards the car. Quickly I rose from my hiding spot and sprinted to the edge of the road.
"Madam, are you interested in buying a train ticket for Tynda? It leaves at 7:30pm at the Kingsford train station," I stared into her eyes, willing her to understand the logic.
"Sir, I would love to help you out, but I have no reason to go to Tynda, Thank-you for offering." The flicker in her eyes informed me she had understood. To keep in character, I jogged toward the next street wanderer without a backwards glance. When I was positive that I was out of view I trotted happily back to my work area before my absence would be noticed.
"It needs to be done, Eliza, I cannot think of anything else to do." I regretfully watched the tears stream down her face. I attempted to look her in the eye, but she turned away.